"Staggering" bureaucratic obstacles costing lives in Syria

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Stephen O'Brien. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Aid deliveries to people in need in Syria are being held back by what the UN humanitarian chief has called "staggering" bureaucratic obstacles that are costing people their lives.

Some 250,000 people have been killed in the conflict which is entering its sixth year.

Around 13.5 million are in need of some sort of humanitarian aid.

Ana Carmo reports

In recent weeks, the UN has been able to deliver aid to 110,000 needy people in war-stricken parts of Syria.

Deliveries need to be negotiated with the government.

Briefing the Security Council in New York on Wednesday, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien described how difficult it has been to get the go-ahead for convoys.

"Humanitarian operations cannot continue to be bogged down by unnecessary and unacceptable restrictions, obstructions and deliberate delays that are costing people their lives. The number, scope and complexity of bureaucratic and other obstacles that are placed in the path of simple aid deliveries are staggering."

Mr O'Brien confirmed that airdrops of relief aid have begun in some parts of Syria as a "last resort."

On Wednesday morning, 21 tonnes was dropped into Deir ez-Zor a city in the east of the country.

Ana Carmo, United Nations

Duration: 56″

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